Brock Purdy

Shanahan states Purdy, 49ers starters could play vs. Broncos

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Sam Darnold will play a majority of snaps in the 49ers' second NFL preseason game against the Denver Broncos on Saturday at Levi's Stadium.

Coach Kyle Shanahan made that clear while speaking to reporters earlier this week, but he isn't completely ruling out the chance of starting quarterback Brock Purdy making a brief appearance on the field. Shanahan joined KNBR's "Tolbert & Copes" on Thursday to further detail his plan for all starters this weekend.

"We planned on Sam going the first half," Shanahan said. "We just finished practice here. I’m going to talk to the trainers with the rest of our team and everything. I might get Brock in there for a little bit. Have not finalized that yet. But thinking about playing the ones for possibly a series a little in the first quarter.

"But whatever that is, if we don’t, Sam will have the whole first half, and if those guys do open the game with Brock and some of the ones, it probably won’t be much longer than a series or two."

Last Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders, very few starters stepped on the field in the preseason opener. Trey Lance started under center and played the entire first half, while Darnold played most of the third quarter before fourth-string QB Brandon Allen replaced him.

It was an up-and-down performance for both Lance and Darnold, and as the two QBs compete for the backup spot, it will be Darnold who gets a chance to show what he can do first on Saturday.

Purdy took part in three consecutive full days of practice this week, getting 95 reps during that span. He took the majority of the practice snaps, indicating Darnold and Lance would split most of the playing time against Denver. But that doesn't mean Shanahan won't sprinkle in his starter at some point Saturday.

"My main goal in it is that everyone gets out healthy, but I want to see us play better," Shanahan said. "I want our coaches to be sharper. I want our players to be sharper. We’ll play a few more guys in this but I still see it as kind of the fourth practice of the week."

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